If you are a Hollywood movie freak, you might be familiar with the world of Far Eastern Martial arts. Karate, Judo, Tai Kwan Do….you name them and you will find a number of Hollywood movies made on the theme of any of these martial arts. But Shaolin Kung Fu is that Chinese martial art that beats all other forms of combats in style as well as in skill. In fact, the other martial arts like Judo or Karate are believed to originate from this ancient art of fighting.
Shaolin Temple was built at the top of the mountain of Sung in Henan province some 1600 years ago and remained the Buddhist power centre for the next thousand years. This place is believed to be the birthplace of famous Shaolin Kung Fu. Shaolin Kung Fu was believed to be conceived in the wisdom of Shaolin monks and the Wushu masters of secular school.
It was an age of anarchy when the entire Chinese territory used to be ruled by the warlords divided by rivalry and hatred. It was the time when murder, theft and other crimes were rules rather than exception. The Buddhist monks in their attempt to protect the wealth—both material and intellectual— of their Shaolin temple devoted much time in research and experimentations on new techniques of martial art and these researches culminated into unique martial art skills which were accumulated under the umbrella of a single comprehensive term, “Shaolin Kung Fu”.
The monks in the Shaolin temple used to be taught in the art of combat, along side the spiritual training. They were the warrior monks or the mortal combat shaolin monks. These mortal combat shaolin monks participated in at least four important battles during this period: the battle of the Gulf of Hangzhou, the Wengjiagang battle, the battle of Majiabang and the Taozhai battle. All these mortal combat shaolin monks were thoroughly trained in Wushu skills and rendered great military service against the enemies of the nation.